If you’re looking for a fun game that will keep all players running on their toes, think 500 card game. Five hundred was developed and copyrighted in 1904, in the United States.

However, the game is now the official game of the Australian and also played globally. The game is named after its objective, be the first team or player to attain a score of 500 points.

The setup

At this stage, you sort out teams, cards and deal the first cards to the players.

  • Sorting teams: Look for three more people to play the cards with you. While you are four in number, divide yourselves into two teams (a team of two people), then sit opposite your partner.
  • Sorting cards: You will necessarily have one joker, and you should remove cards 3 and 2 from the red suits. Also, remove cards 4, 3, 2, and 1 in the black suits.
  • Dealing the cards: Deal 3 cards to all players, starting from the left player. Then place a card at the center of the table and deal another four cards to each player. Again, put one card at the center of the table. And lastly, deal three cards each to all players and place the last card in the middle of the table.

The bid

At this stage, each player says the number of rounds they think they can win. You decide your bid on other people’s bids and the available hand. In the end, the team that wins or loses points is the team that wins the bid.

  • Decide your trump suit: This is the suit that holds your maximum and highest cards. Also, you can bid “No Trump, Misere,” losing all tricks and your partner sits out. If you choose to open Misere, you’ll lose your entire tricks with an open hand, making your partner sits out.
  • Decide the number of tricks you can win: The minimum number of tricks you can win is six and the maximum is ten. The score value of each bid is based on the suit and the number of tricks bided for. Previous bids need to be higher than the final bid.
  • Decide your bid: A good example of a bid is “7 Diamonds” or “7 Spades.” You can decide to pass too if you think your hand is not strong enough. Once you pass, there’s no way for you to build anymore.
  • The winner of the bid takes the kitty (or pot): The person who has the greatest bid takes the kitty (the four cards at the center). The pot is added to their hand while discarding four cards that are less important back to the table, facing down.

The play

You work with your partner to win or stop the other team from winning.

  • Beginning the first round: The first player to play is the winner of the pot. Any card may follow from the next player.
  • Other players must play clockwise: If a player has cards that are similar in a suit as the leading card, they must be played first. After this, you can play any card of your choice. The joker goes back to the default suit value that was set at the bidding stage and must be dealt with as a similar suit. Further, the same color Jack similar to the red or black color trump suit is called the “Left Bower.”
  • Deciding who wins a trick: After each player has played a card, next is to determine the winner of the trick. The highest trump is the joker, followed by Jack of trumps, and lastly, another suit’s a jack that has the same color trump. The rank keeps moving from the high (Ace) to 4. However, if trump is red, the rank moves up to 5. At this stage, the suit’s highest card wins the trick except someone plays a trump suit. Moreover, the highest trump wins if multiple trumps are played. But if nobody plays any trump, the lead suit’s highest card wins the trick.
  • Quickly play your remainder: The tricks’ winner takes the winning cards and places them in separate piles, facing down on the table. This helps each team keep track of the number of tricks they have won. The team that wins a trick leads the other team to the next trick. Keep playing the cards until either the winner of the bid has won the number of tricks they bid in the beginning. If not, it means they can’t reach their bid anymore.

The score

The objective of this card game is to continue playing hands until a team emerges as the winner. The winner is crowned either by reaching 500 points or losing 500 points. Whichever way, 500 points must be attained in either direction to win the game.

Add or subtract points: Winning the bid and the tricks you bid for, makes you receive the number of points appointed on the scorecard. Your ability to win additional tricks than your bid prevents you from receiving more points. For instance, if you win 9 tricks when you only bid 8 diamonds, will make you score just 280 points (not 380 points).

On the other hand, if your team does not meet up with the bid, that number of the score must be removed from the running score of your team. This means that it is very possible to be unfavorable in this game.

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